Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is an internationally recognized destination for its beaches bathed by the Pacific Ocean, natural beauty, and first-class facilities mixed with warm hospitality.
There are infinite places to discover but finding a favorite is a challenging task since each of Puerto Vallarta’s beaches has its particular charm. Some are accessible only by sea. Others are located in remote places, surrounded by magical landscapes or even those that offer abundant wildlife around them. And when you think you’ve found an ideal paradise, there’s one more to explore from north to south.
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Here are 13 top-notch beaches for visitors to uncover in Puerto Vallarta.
Yelapa is a tropical paradise accessible only by boat, 45 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta. In this small fishing village, you will discover restaurants and beach clubs where you can enjoy a day full of sun and relaxation and small hotels on the beach. Yelapa is also famous for its homemade pies, a delight to enjoy while sunbathing on the beach. One of the main things to do in Yelapa is hiking up the mountains through the jungle to its waterfall, at the foot of which you will find a natural pool of fresh water. It’s a 30- to 40-minute hike with incredible scenery to stop and take some pictures.
Playa Las Gemelas
This remote and hidden beach is located about 20 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta by car and is visited mainly by locals who know where the best beaches are. Crystal-clear turquoise waters and a spot on the warm sand to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings await you at Playa Las Gemelas.
Playa Los Muertos
This is one of the most famous and popular beaches in Puerto Vallarta. Located in Olas Altas or Zona Romantica, very close to downtown, it is a must-see on a walk from the Malecon. Here you will find the emblematic pier that was recently renovated and exceptional views of the Pacific Ocean. Los Muertos beach has a relaxed yet modern atmosphere, with a long list of restaurants, stores, art galleries, and bars to choose from to find your ideal spot.
Playa Conchas Chinas
Conchas Chinas is located 10 minutes by car from downtown and is known as one of the most romantic beaches in the area, as it is considered a top destination for weddings in Puerto Vallarta. It offers natural and virgin pools formed by imposing rock formations, turquoise waters, and soft white sand. This is it if you are looking for the perfect place to enjoy the moment.
Playa Las Caletas
Las Caletas is a private beach enveloped in magic and total relaxation. The famous film director John Houston made this place his home. The tour operator Vallarta Adventures is in charge of managing and preserving this beach, with tours that start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. The way to get there is by boat, a one-hour ride, and once there, get ready to jump into the water and practice scuba diving, snorkeling, or paddle boarding. Drinks and meals are included in the tour, and it is an excellent option for families or couples in its private section for adults with hammocks by the sea and a spa at the top of the cliff.
Playa Las Animas
Remote and accessible only by boat or for hikers, a 90-minute walk from Boca de Tomatlán, Las Animas offers several restaurants and bars to enjoy local cuisine and fresh seafood under the shade of a palapa. There are paddleboard rentals for paddleboarding or banana boat rides, an adventure park, Las Animas Adventure Park, with zip lines, balance beams, and more.
Located south of Puerto Vallarta, this small hidden beach is surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains and is known as the most petite beach in Mexico. To get there, you have two options: the first is a 40-minute walk from Boca de Tomatlán along the trails that wind their way through the tropical forest. The second option is to take a five-minute water cab ride from Boca de Tomatlán. There are no restaurants or facilities, so don’t forget to bring a snack and umbrella if you plan to spend the day at this beautiful beach.
This is another small beach with crystal clear waters that you will find on hikes from Boca de Tomatlán or aboard a boat, located between Colomitos and Playa Las Animas.
This beach is known for being the setting of the famous movie The Night of the Iguana, filmed in 1964 and starring Richard Burton, who the stunning Liz Taylor accompanied during the filming. In front of this beach is Los Arcos Marine Park, a group of rocky islands where you can scuba dive and snorkel and discover the abundant marine life that inhabits its depths. You can find hotels and resorts, local restaurants, and a Tequila tour on the beach.
Boca de Tomatlan
Boca de Tomatlan, or simply “Boca” as it is known locally, is a small fishing village where the river and the sea converge. Located 20 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta, it can be reached by land or sea. This town is the starting point for all the water cabs that take you to the southern beaches of Cabo Corrientes. Venture from here by boat or the tropical trail to the shores of Colomitos, Madagascar, and Las Animas, or go further by boat to Quimixto and Yelapa. The town features a small boardwalk, a few restaurants with palapas and fresh seafood, and stores to buy drinks or snacks before setting out on an adventure to a hidden paradise.
Playa Camarones is a Blue Flag-certified beach located in the center of town and is characterized by a more relaxed atmosphere than other areas along the coast. Bring your chairs and umbrella, or rent a couple on site, and spend a day enjoying the sun, the beach, and the sound of the sea. Street vendors offer handicrafts, henna tattoos, and famous local fish sticks and shrimp. You can also enjoy the service of its trendy restaurants and bars by the beach or the surrounding area.
This small fishing village is located within the municipality of Cabo Corrientes, south of Puerto Vallarta, and is a favorite spot for tourists and locals alike. It can be reached by boat, which takes 20 minutes from Boca de Tomatlán. Quimixto’s main attraction is its spectacular waterfall, which can be reached by renting a horse. Enjoy the view at the restaurant located at the entrance of the waterfall. Quimixto is a trip you should add to your next visit to Puerto Vallarta.
Playa de Oro
Playa de Oro takes its name from one of the first hotels built in the region, located in Puerto Vallarta’s Hotel Zone. Its coastline is surrounded by rocks at each end, creating a small bay that is very safe and pleasant for sunbathing. This Puerto Vallarta beach has also been awarded with the Blue Flag certificate, due to the cleanliness of its waters and sand, and for its accessibility and facilities. You can enjoy different water activities such as skiing, kayaking, banana boat rides, and even parasailing. You can also spend a day in the sun without leaving your hotel.
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